Will Illinois’ Proposed Gay Marriage Law Violate Religious Freedom?

If you don t like gay marriage

Will Illinois create discrimination in the name of ending discrimination?

Illinois’ bill redefining marriage to include same-sex “marriages,” is on the governor’s desk, awaiting his signature.

Proponents of the bill say that ti will end discrimination against homosexuals. Others are concerned that a lack of exemptions for individuals and small business owners, including one-owner businesses, will allow coercion and a violation of these citizen’s basic right to religious freedom.

One thing that is commonly (and I think, deliberately) overlooked in discussions of this issue is that religious freedom and freedom of conscience are basic human rights.

From The Chicago Tribune:

Illinois’ gay marriage bill that awaits the governor’s signature doesn’t force religious clergy to officiate at same-sex weddings or compel churches to open their doors for ceremonies. But similar safeguards aren’t spelled out for pastry chefs, florists, photographers and other vendors who, based on religious convictions, might not want to share a gay couple’s wedding day.

The lack of broader exceptions worries some who fear an erosion of religious freedoms, even as supporters of the law say it will eliminate discrimination.

“We’re going to have to wait for lawsuits to arrive,” said Peter Breen, an attorney with the Thomas More Society, a socially conservative legal group.

Cardinal George Opposes Proposed Illinois Law Legalizing Gay Marriage

Chicago, Ill., Jan 3, 2013 / 04:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Cardinal Francis George and the six auxiliary bishops of Chicago have warned that a proposal to recognize “gay marriage” in Illinois is against the common good and will force Illinoisans to “pretend to accept something that is contrary to the common sense of the human race.”

“Civil laws that establish ‘same-sex marriage’ create a legal fiction. The state has no power to create something that nature itself tells us is impossible,” the bishops said in a Jan. 1 letter.

Cardinal George has sent the letter to every priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago, asking that the letter be distributed in parish bulletins this weekend.

Illinois State Sen. Heather Steans and State Rep. Greg Harris, both Chicago Democrats, have said they will introduce the legislation before the Jan. 9 end of the legislative session. The bill, called
“The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” would change the definition of marriage under Illinois law from “between a man and a woman” to “between two persons.”

Cardinal George, in a Jan. 6 column for the Catholic New World, said the mention of religious freedom in the proposed bill is “ironic if not disingenuous.”

“Those who know that marriage is a union between a man and a woman for the sake of family will carry a social opprobrium that will make them unwelcome on most university faculties and on the editorial boards of major newspapers,” the cardinal said. “They will be excluded from the entertainment industry. Their children and grandchildren will be taught in the government schools that their parents are unenlightened, the equivalent of misguided racists.”

“Laws teach; they express accepted social values and most people go along with societal trends, even when majority opinion espouses immoral causes,” Cardinal George noted. (Read more here.)


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